How do we stay healthy and balanced in these trying circumstances we currently find ourselves in?
I tend to go a little stir crazy if I’m forced to stay indoors. I’m already starting to plan for the inevitable lockdown.
So here are a few ideas that I’ve had to keep myself from cabin fever.
- Routines are so important. From sleeping, waking and taking that shower, dressing, exercising and eating regularly. Try to avoid getting stuck on the sofa and plan how much time you need for each activity and try to stick to it. My busy lifestyle and varied work schedule often make this really hard for me. Self isolation will give me the opportunity to get some healthier patterns into my life.
- Get Minimal. Most of us need to declutter (I know I do!); and with spring in the air and good hygiene paramount what better time to sort out our stuff? Start by organising tasks or deciding on which room to start with. Shed those kids’ toys, books, old clothes, paperwork and anything that you tend to hoard that needs culling. I’m a self-confessed running shoe hoarder. But do I really need 12 pairs of running shoes? So bag or box up unwanted items ready for recycling, donating or binning. Bonus reminder: Don’t forget your email inbox and all of those downloads on your computer! Unsubscribe from no longer necessary mailing lists and delete – it feels so good!
- Exercise. You can practise yoga, pilates and home gym with online classes easily now. Many local teachers are now forced to move to live streaming or recording classes and only ask for donations to keep them in business. Support them and get that double feel good factor!
- DIY Massage and rehab. I’m going to fess up and admit that I don’t always practice what I teach and can be slack about rehab exercises specific to my own aches and pains. Now is the time to get back on plan with those exercises so that we are strong and supple and pain free when we are unleashed again. I have a fantastic app which I now use to prescribe exercises to my clients. I plan also to begin posting videos of self massage and exercises specific to posture, sports or injury.
Eat well. Now is the time to experiment with your meals. Spend time loving the process of preparing your food. Grab that cookbook and try something new and nutritious. Preparing really good food for myself is one of the biggest ways I can practice self love. Buddha bowls are one of my favourite things to make, as is filling my slow cooker up with veggies and seeing how they turn out. I discovered that brussel sprouts make the best curry this way – don’t knock it, experiment!
- Keep a Journal. We’re in the grip of something that is one of the most important historical events in our lifetimes. Journaling can help to prioritise and reduce anxiety and stress. We can identify negative thoughts and patterns and how to work through them more positively. I imagine future generations reading through some of our journals today and connecting with us through time.
- Calm the Inner Storms. Meditation or breath work are perfect to do at home. Start with short sessions in a space which is quiet and calm and where you will be free from interruptions. A few minutes a day can have huge benefits for your mind, body and emotions. There are so many excellent apps that you can use to help get you started. Try Insight Timer or Headspace for meditation or Breathe2Relax for breathwork.
I allow it to pass
I am not in control of my thoughts
I allow them to pass
I am aware of my feelings
I allow them to pass
I am aware of sensations
The temperature of the air
The sounds around me
The weight of my body
The texture of my clothes
The surface on which I rest
The temperature of my body
The tension in my body
I allow them to pass
I am aware of the beating of my heart
I cannot stop it beating
I am aware of my breathing
I cannot stop breathing
I am in control of my breathing
I am breathing
I am the breathing
I am the breath
I am calm
- Get Connected; Stay Connected. Self isolation doesn’t mean that you should be isolated from community and loved ones. Now is the time to Skype that friend or relative that you know is alone. Use the telephone, write a letter, use social media. Look out for each other and keep the lines of communication open. I feel more connected and loved by my family than ever in this time because we are staying in constant contact and supporting each other. If you are feeling very lonely, depressed or even suicidal, Samaritans are there for you and many talk therapists are now available by phone or video link.
- Give a Little, Help a Lot. I’m so impressed with how the community is coming together. We are seeing the best from our neighbours: uniting and supporting each other in so many practical ways. Many small businesses will suffer and unfortunately some will go under. In times of self isolation, we may not be able to use their services or buy their products. I’m setting myself the task of reviewing a local small business or two every day. This will include pubs, small shops and businesses. Think Trip Advisor, Google Review, social media. Help to keep them visible and current. And yes, if I’ve given you a massage, it helps me so much each time I get a new review!
- Lastly, Information Overwhelm. Be very careful about social media use. With so much misinformation, scare mongering and whipping up hysteria with conspiracies, I’ve stopped reading negative posts and am trying to use verified sources for my information like the Government, NHS and World Health Organisation.